Analytical and Bioanalytical Chemistry

, Volume 411, Issue 3, pp 755–763 | Cite as

High-throughput detection of low abundance sialylated glycoproteins in human serum by TiO2 enrichment and targeted LC-MS/MS analysis: application to a prostate cancer sample set

  • Caterina Gabriele
  • Francesco CantielloEmail author
  • Annalisa Nicastri
  • Fabio Crocerossa
  • Giorgio Ivan Russo
  • Antonio Cicione
  • Mihai D. Vartolomei
  • Matteo Ferro
  • Giuseppe Morgia
  • Giuseppe Lucarelli
  • Giovanni Cuda
  • Rocco Damiano
  • Marco GaspariEmail author
Research Paper


Glycopeptide enrichment can be a strategy to allow the detection of peptides belonging to low abundance proteins in complex matrixes such as blood serum or plasma. Though several glycopeptide enrichment protocols have shown excellent sensitivities in this respect, few reports have demonstrated the applicability of these methods to relatively large sample cohorts. In this work, a fast protocol based on TiO2 enrichment and highly sensitive mass spectrometric analysis by Selected Reaction Monitoring (SRM) has been applied to a cohort of serum samples from prostate cancer and benign prostatic hyperplasia patients in order to detect low abundance proteins in a single LC-MS/MS analysis in nanoscale format, without immunodepletion or peptide fractionation. A peptide library of over 700 formerly N-glycosylated peptides was created by data dependent analysis. Then, 16 medium to low abundance proteins were selected for detection by single injection LC-MS/MS based on selected-reaction monitoring. Results demonstrated the consistent detection of the low-level proteins under investigation. Following label-free quantification, four proteins (Adipocyte plasma membrane-associated protein, Periostin, Cathepsin D and Lysosome-associated membrane glycoprotein 2) were found significantly increased in prostate cancer sera compared to the control group.

Graphical abstract


Prostate cancer Serum proteomics APMAP CTSD LAMP2 POSTN 



MIUR, Programma Operativo Nazionale PON03PE_0009_2 “ICaRe”; POR Calabria FESR 2014-2020 “Innoprost”.

Compliance with ethical standards

Written informed consent was obtained from the patient for research use. The study was approved by the University of Catanzaro ethics committee.

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Supplementary material

216_2018_1497_MOESM1_ESM.pdf (1.4 mb)
ESM 1 (PDF 1470 kb)
216_2018_1497_MOESM2_ESM.xls (485 kb)
ESM 2 (XLS 485 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Caterina Gabriele
    • 1
  • Francesco Cantiello
    • 2
    Email author
  • Annalisa Nicastri
    • 1
  • Fabio Crocerossa
    • 2
  • Giorgio Ivan Russo
    • 3
  • Antonio Cicione
    • 2
  • Mihai D. Vartolomei
    • 4
    • 5
  • Matteo Ferro
    • 4
  • Giuseppe Morgia
    • 3
  • Giuseppe Lucarelli
    • 6
  • Giovanni Cuda
    • 1
  • Rocco Damiano
    • 2
  • Marco Gaspari
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.Department of Experimental and Clinical MedicineMagna Graecia University of CatanzaroCatanzaroItaly
  2. 2.Urology UnitMagna Graecia University of CatanzaroCatanzaroItaly
  3. 3.Urology Section, Department of SurgeryUniversity of CataniaCataniaItaly
  4. 4.Department of UrologyEuropean Institute of OncologyMilanItaly
  5. 5.Department of Cell and Molecular BiologyUniversity of Medicine, Pharmacy, Sciences and TechnologyTargu MuresRomania
  6. 6.Urology, Andrology & Kidney Transplantation Unit, Department of Emergency & Organ TransplantationUniversity of BariBariItaly

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